South Africa grab lightweight four gold

South Africa powered to victory in the men’s lightweight four final on Thursday, holding off the favourites Britain and Denmark in a thrilling sprint for the line to win the country’s first Olympic rowing title.

The victory by about a foot with a breathtaking late burst denied Britain a third gold medal of the Games and a win for brothers Peter and Richard Chambers from Northern Ireland. Britain finished second with Denmark in third.

Denmark led the race from the start before South Africa and Britain pulled level. In a final sprint for the line in front of 25,000 roaring fans, the South Africans just got their timing right before collapsing in their boat and looking to the big screens to see whether they had won.

South Africa triumphed in a time of six minutes 02:84, from Britain a quarter of a second back. Denmark were a further 0.07 of a second behind the British.

Coach Obuh names AYC 2013 squad

The 20-man AYC squad that will proceed to Tanzania on Sunday the 29th of this month for the qualifiers of the 2013 African Youth Championship has been named by the head coach of Nigeria’s U-20 squad John Sam Obuh.

The list of the squad is as follows:

Strikers: Cedric Omoigui, Sikiru Alimi, Harrison Egbune, Yahaya Adamu, Alhaji Gero, Aminu Umar.

Goalkeepers: Jonah Usman, Samuel Okani

Midfielders: Moses Orkuma, Kingsley Patrick, Agboyi Ovbokha,Shehu Abdullahi,Chidi Osuchukwu, Uche Agbo.

Defenders: Boniface Abonima, Aliyu Mohammed,Ikechukwu Okorie , Tope Aluko, Chizoba Amaefule, Abubakar Hassan

The surprise inclusion in the final squad is Real Mallorca youth team striker Cedric Omoigui.

And prior to the much awaited qualification game against Tanzania the Flying Eagles will lock horn with the Rwanda U-20 side in a warm up match ahead of a place in the final tournament which will be hosted Algeria starting March 2013 if everything goes well for our own dear Flying Eagles.

Cricket:Boucher can still regain some vision- Doctor

Former South African wicketkeeper, Mark Boucher has been some kind of hope concerning his future as wicketkeeper as the doctor treating the South African says he can still play cricket as he could regain vision in his left eye which was affected in freak accident.

Several tests that was run showed that there has been any detachment from the retina and this is a positive news to hear, though there’s need to physically see the condition in there, Shuaib Manjra said.

His doctor said further that Boucher will need several procedures as the level of damage can only be described as astonishing.

Mark Boucher has been doing more of sleeping and following the Tour de France cycle race plus getting support messages from fans, His spokesperson concluded.

His doctor Shuaib said he is hoping Boucher returns to play if all went well according the tests that have been done.

At least 19 dead in South Africa train accident – media

At least 19 people were killed and 20 injured after a train collided with a truck in northeast South Africa, local radio said on Friday.

Police confirmed the accident in Mpumalanga province, about 400 km east of Johannesburg, but were unable to give details on the number of deaths.

“The truck carrying farm workers was hit by a train at a level crossing,” Mpumalanga police spokesman Joseph Mabusa told Reuters.

Mpumalanga is a major coal-producing region. It was not immediately clear whether the accident could disrupt coal shipments in Africa’s biggest economy.

Big Brother has been Kidnapped

There was so much panic and fear in the Big Brother house on Wednesday morning when a new Big Brother invaded the house.

Biggie has been kidnapped and in his place a new, scarier Big Brother has taken over.

There was panic this morning when the lights were dimmed dramatically and a powerful force took the reins.

Goldie with so much shock left her mouth open, while Alex sat in the corner looking dumbfounded. After what seemed to be an eternity, the lights came back on and a scary voice rang through the House.

The new Big Brother did not introduce himself instead delivered a shocker saying Big Brother has been kidnapped.

What can the housemate do to save Big Brother?

LONDON OLYMPICS: Nigeria is out of men’s 4x400m relay

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Tuesday confirmed that Nigeria’s 4x400m men’s relay team will not compete at the London Olympics.

This is contrary to the statement by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on Monday which listed the team among the country’s contingent to the Games.

The Nigerian 4x400m relay team is made up of Saul Weigopwa, Abiola Onokoya, Isah Salihu, Tobi Ogunmola, Segun Ogunkole and Godday James.

The team ran 3:02.39 to win the gold medal at the just concluded 18th African Athletics Championships on Sunday in Porto Novo, and they were wrongly informed that the team made the cut for the Olympics.

However, the IAAF on Tuesday released the list of 16 teams that have qualified to participate in the event in London and Nigeria was not included in the list.

According to the IAAF report, “the qualification period for the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relays at the Games of the XXX Olympiad, London 2012 ended on Monday 2 July. The IAAF is pleased to confirm the following 16 teams, per each of the four relays, which have qualified to compete, are as follows…”

Until the victory in Port Novo, Nigeria was ranked out of the top 20 nations but moved to the 18th on the list following last Sunday’s personal season’s best performance in Benin republic.

South Africa and Kenya will be flying the continent’s flag in the London games which will kick-off in a few weeks.

Meanwhile Nigeria still stands a chance to make the games if two of the qualified countries drop out of the event at the quadrennial Games on their own volition.

Nigeria will thus not be competing in the men’s 4x400m relay at the Olympics.

Victory in past relays have accounted for some of the nine medals Nigeria has won in the athletics event of the Olympic Games.

Sylva seeks court’s permission for medical trip

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja will on Tuesday, June 27th 2012 decide if it will allow former governor of Bayelsa state Mr. Timipre Sylva travel outside Nigeria for medical care.

Mr Sylva, through his counsel; Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, tendered medical documents on Monday, asking the court to allow him travel to South Africa on health reasons.

He argued that for the court to have granted bail to his client, the court knows that he (Mr Sylva) will make himself available when his trial commences.

The counsel noted that the application to travel abroad, is a classic example of the constitutional principle of the right to life and freedom and he also urged the court to take particular notice that the application borders on the well being of his client because “only a living being can stand trial in any court of law” he said.

But counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr. Oghenevu Otemu objected to the application.

He told the court that the defendant has not sufficiently shown the court why he should be granted the leave for a medical trip to South Africa.

Mr. Otemu also argued that Mr. Sylva did not give details of the kind of ailment he is suffering from, adding that a Nigerian hospital cannot cater for his health needs.

He further argued that granting the application of the accused person will affect ongoing investigations by the anti-graft agency.

He therefore urged the court to refuse the application.

Listening to the two parties, presiding Judge, Justice Adamu Bello fixed 27th of June 2012 to deliver his ruling on the application.

The former governor, who is standing trial on a six count charge of diverting N4.45 billion belonging to Bayelsa state for his personal use, is on bail in the sum of N100 million, one surety who owns a landed property within the jurisdiction of the Federal Capital Territory.

Justice Adamu Bello also ordered Sylva to deposit his entire travel document with the Chief Registrar and also ensure that he doesn’t  leave the country without permission from the court.

A tentative trial date has been fixed for September 19th 2012 for trial to commence.


Brazil calls off friendly with Nigeria over bombings

The raging terror attacks by fundamentalist group, Boko Haram, in northern Nigeria have made the Brazilian national team cancel a planned high-profile friendly match with the Super Eagles.

The Super Eagles were due to play the former world champions in Nigeria during a FIFA friendly window in September but the recent bombings have forced the Brazilians to reconsider their proposed visit to Nigeria.

The Brazilian FA is reported to have settled for the Bafana Bafana of South Africa, but the match will be played either in Brazil or the USA on September 7.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) however said the Nigeria versus Brazil friendly would still hold as planned. An official of the football body told PUNCH Newspaper that the organisers had not given up on bringing the Samba Boys to Nigeria.

“The friendly has not been cancelled; the organisers are still hopeful of sorting out a few details in order to bring the Brazilians to Nigeria. It is actually Guinness, the Match arrangement and the agent that is putting the match together is confident it will hold,” the NFF official said.

Nigeria is looking to play a high-profile friendlies as coach Stephen Keshi continue to strengthen the team ahead of their crucial qualifiers for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2014 World Cup.

Cancelled league games

The bombings in the north have also affected the hosting of league matches in the region. The Nigeria Premier League was forced to suspend the Week 28 match between Jigawa Golden Stars and Ocean Boys indefinitely due to the crisis in Kaduna. Both sides were scheduled to play in Jigawa on Wednesday.

Ocean Boys were forced to return to Abuja on Tuesday when they turned back from their journey to Dutse, the capital of Jigawa State.

The new date for the match has yet to be decided by the NPL.


South Africa looks to Nigeria, Angola to replace Iran oil

South Africa is looking to source oil from Angola, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia to replace supplies from Iran, which is facing sanctions over its nuclear programme, a top energy official said on Friday.

Oil workers walk through pipe installations on a tanker at Bonga off-shore oil field outside Lagos, October 30, 2007. Photo: REUTERS

Africa’s biggest economy used to import a quarter of its crude from Iran, but has come under Western pressure to cut the shipments as part of sanctions designed to halt Tehran’s suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons.

“We intend looking at other countries, specifically in Africa, mainly Angola and Nigeria,” Nelisiwe Magubane, director general at the energy department told journalists. “We also, of course, are going to continue to import from Saudi Arabia.”

South Africa’s crude oil imports from Iran fell 43 percent to 286,072 tonnes in April from the previous month, while supplies from Saudi Arabia nearly doubled to 671,419 tonnes. The remaining 258,184 tonnes came from Nigeria.

The United States granted South Africa an exemption from financial sanctions after the cuts in Iranian imports, Pretoria may still face problems because of sanctions from the European Union, which does not provide any waivers.

Magubane said she expected a “breakthrough” soon in talks with Brussels on the issue.

“The sanctions are not just going to impact the South African economy, but it is also going to impact that of our neighbours,” she said.

Any disruption to crude imports could hit fuel supplies in South Africa, which has suffered shortages in the last year because of strikes and refinery problems.

Refiners in South Africa include Shell, BP, Total, Chevron, petrochemicals group Sasol, and Engen, which is majority-owned by Malaysian state oil group Petronas .


Tam-George urges Jonathan to justify promises made to Nigerians

Austin Tam-George, a former lecturer of the University of Cape Town, South Africa and now a lecturer at the Pan African University commented on democracy day as President Goodluck Jonathan gave his speech to celebrate his first year in office.

The president honoured the Late Moshood Kashimawo Abiola by renaming the University of Lagos after him, a decision that that sparked protest among the students of the institution.

Mr Tam-George said the administration of President Jonathan should work towards justifying the promises it made to Nigerians while hustling for the seat of the Presidency.

DMO to sell N70 billion worth of sovereign bonds within a decade

The Debt Management Office-DMO of Nigeria has confirmed plans to sell N70 billion worth of sovereign bonds within a decade of its regular auction on May 16.

The debt office said it would sell N35 billion each in the 5-year and 10-year paper with term-to-maturity of four years and 11 months and nine years and eight months, respectively.

Both bonds are due to mature in 2017 and 2022 respectively and are re-openings of previous issues.

“The DMO reserves the right to alter the amount allotted in response to market conditions,” The debt office said in a statement sent to Reuters by e-mail.

Nigeria, Africa’s second-biggest economy after South Africa, issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.


Stuart Baxter now Kaizer Chiefs coach

Stuart Baxter the Bafana Bafana coach has been confirmed by the management of South African club Kaizer Chiefs as the new manager of the club.

With the Russian Vladimir Vermezovic exiting his position as the manager of Kaizer Chiefs the likes of Doctor Khumalo, Ace Khuse and Arthur Zwane had hold down the position while the management of the club went in hurried search for a replacement.

The announcement of securing the signature of the fiery Serbian was made via the official website of the club with a statement by the executive Chairman of the club; Kaizer Motaung saying it is a great pleasure getting Serbian Stuart Baxter on our side as the news manager of Kaizer Chiefs as he will fit into our strategy with so much wealth of knowledge internationally.

Also we see that his expertise being a coach instructor himself which make him a mentor for coaches and coach to be  will also help the club in various ways to mention a few, the youth academy.

The Serbian also reacted positively to the announcement made by the Club Chairman as he expressed his happiness working with Kaizer Chiefs as he admitted that though it is challenging project but still exciting

Baxter’s coach career has spanned across the continent with clubs like Vitoria Setubal, Halmstads BK, AIK, F.C. Lyn Oslo, England Under-19, South Africa, Helsingborgs IF and Finland among others.